Last year, all I wanted to do was crack jokes about Hillary Clinton’s ever-smug face. Her daughter Chelsea, too. Throw in that awful Debbie Wasserman Shultz, and you’ve got a trifecta of ghoulish visages I was literally salivating to goof on. Caricature unflatteringly, at the least.
And I didn’t.
I didn’t make fun of the women at the Trump rally, either. I couldn’t; they were all attractive, and could possibly have shamed me as a man.
While the entire media industry decided to make fun of Donald Trump’s face, like a bus full of second-graders, I didn’t stoop to their level. And oh, they had a field day. They’re still doodling him as an anus, or a Cheeto. I’ve seen that illustration of Trump as a shit-spattered baby so many times I could forge it from memory.
diaspora: a scattered population with a common origin in a smaller geographic locale. Diaspora can also refer to the movement of the population from its original homeland.
There’s a chance, being that you are using the Internet, that you are experiencing an intangible emptiness, a desire to fulfill a need you didn’t know you had.
You are far from alone. This is normal.
Spoiler: they hatefuck.
Many of us used the Internet around the year 2000 because it supplied things we couldn’t find elsewhere. Easy and plentiful pornography, hurtful humor, forums and blogs brimming with lolcows; all the schadenfreude one could stand.
Moviegoers today act like naked Kate Winslet in Titanic, coyly demanding Leonardo DiCaprio to draw her like a French girl. A preternatural relationship has been forged between audience and studio. A production falls all over itself to seduce a fandom, because that’s where the blindly loyal dollars are. If a popular intellectual property is even slightly altered for a motion picture adaptation, it’s headline news, even above mass murder and election-year chicanery.
Eventually, this film will be remade, and this scene will feature different actors, pretty much just to fuck with you.
The movie industry has become such an intellectual wasteland that the 80s era of numerical sequel-mania looks dignified by comparison. Honest promotion and word-of-mouth don’t work anymore; attention span is dead. The only way to really sell a remake is to get people steamed. Take the things viewers loved about an original film, and subvert them. Serves the suckers right anyway, for falling in love with a fictional universe. The names P.T. Barnum and J.J. Abrams aren’t similar for nothing. Continue reading →
By the age of ten, I had somehow managed to view both Alien and The Shining. These formed the blueprint of what I understood of the “horror” genre, which I’ve loved ever since. I often bought issues of Fangoria and GoreZone in junior high, because I was intrigued by the pictures’ ability to sicken me, and amazed that magazines existed in stores that were nothing more than full-color gross-out photos. The work of technical-effects masters like Rick Baker, Tom Savini and Kevin Yagher was lovingly displayed like bloody Playboy centerfolds.
The good old days, when Corey Feldman was naught but Jason’s killer.
Fame is a funny thing. When it gets too big, it works against you, and you become overexposed. You’ve seen it time and time again; a company pushes a performer or a movie so hard, you can’t recall a time when you weren’t sick of them. Even their positive qualities become tiresome.
Then eventually, we acknowledge their talents, allowing that they were revealed during a time of intense corporate saturation.
Before 1986, there were three television networks; CBS, NBC, and ABC. Then in October of that year, Fox became the fourth, co-founded by the tyrant Rupert Murdoch. Fox would introduce a slate of unusual programming over the following two years, which included Married… With Children, The Arsenio Hall Show, 21 Jump Street, and a variety program (with animated bumpers) called The Tracey Ullman Show.
It is impossible to get through a holiday season without watching Die Hard. Since its blockbuster release in 1988, this thrilling yet simple actioner- Bruce Willis against a gang of international thieves posing as terrorists to take over a skyscraper- has become a perennial favorite. Every so often another chapter of the Die Hard franchise emerges, attempting and failing to recapture the explosive magic of the first film. It can’t be done, and it’s not because Bruce Willis is now in his sixties.
Twenty years ago* was a pivotal point in the “male action” aisles (get your head out of the gutter) of toy stores. Hasbro’s venerable Transformers and G.I.Joe lines were still popular, but also beginning to feel the strain of their expanding lineups. In two short years, after infusing just about every conceivable gimmick, they would both be discontinued in the US. Micro Machines and a certain group of mutated sewer turtles were exacting their kudzu-like stranglehold of toy shelves, and it seemed like a new batch of hyperactive plastic-mongering cartoon shows hit the air every week. Street Sharks. The Fake Ghostbusters. Madballs. It was all a desperate cacophony designed to seek out the Next Big Kid Craze that would replicate the boon times of 1985, wallets flying from parents’ pockets like startled pigeons, compensation for all manner of arcane electronic injection-molded crap.
1988 was also the year that those of us who were young at that time learned that Nothing Lasts Forever. Children nowadays have the luxury of always seeing Star Wars figurines and Transformers on the toy shelves at Target, unless they’re sold out. In most cases, those toys have been available since the parents were kids. This was not the way things were in 1988. You could be wined and dined by a cool new toyline, read the comics and watch the cartoon, become a veritable wizard of the details of it, and then one day it would just be gone. And there sure as hell wasn’t an Internet to tell you why, or whether it would ever come back again. Anyone who loved “StarCom” as much as I did knows exactly what I’m speaking of.
But in 1988, no one had a clue of what was, inevitably, to come. Kenner themselves would be subsumed into Hasbro three years later. They went out more or less on top, with M.A.S.K. and many other beloved lines completed or underway by the end. Kenner’s plastic wasn’t always the greatest, and not every toy they made has stood the test of time, but twenty years ago, they were still bringing kids the ACTION. Luckily, I was young enough at the time to still rely on relatives willing to fund my expeditions into new and uncharted toys.
If you’re within this site’s recommended age group, hahayeahright, you may fondly recognize one of the logos on the cover above. I used to think that maybe the Silverhawks inhabited the same conceptual galaxy as the Thundercats and Tigersharks, but I was probably overthinking it. I won’t be covering Starting Lineup, not just because I don’t care for sports, but because looking at little plastic statues of ballplayers is legally the most boring thing ever. I would literally be breaking Internet law by posting it.